Part Two – During
So I’ve been drinking, thinking about my next step. I knew what I wanted to do, what I wanted to achieve. I wanted revenge, but I needed months of Dutch courage to go through with it. The police investigation had come up cold, despite me telling them that I saw Ranger running from the scene with blood on his hands, and the incident between him and Catherine when she was on her way home. I was an unreliable witness they said, but they weren’t the ones who had to put their wife and daughter in the ground.
“Cairo, are you okay?” asked one of my locals.
“I’m fine thanks, but I really don’t need your sympathy right now,” I replied harshly.
The alcohol had changed me from Mr Nice Guy to Mr Bastard since I lost my girls. I couldn’t help but not give a damn about anyone, not even myself.
“This isn’t sympathy, it’s understanding. I understand that you’re hurting over your loss and I want you to know I’m only a few doors away if you ever want a chat,”
I stood there for a moment and looked at him. I didn’t know this man very well, and probably had only spoken to him a few times since we moved to this area, but I could feel that I appreciated his words, and most of all, his understanding.
“Thank you, I’ll bare that in mind,”
I walked away and into my house. It was so quite, nothing like it used to be. It used to be a home, with toys lying about and the odd bottle of nail varnish dotted here and there. Now all there was were empty pizza boxes on the floor, cans and bottles, all reminding me of my own self-destruction. I sat on the sofa and fell into deep thought. I knew tonight was the night. Ever since Catherine and Kayla died I had been preparing for this, and now it was time. I had been tracking Ranger to the point where I knew his routine, down to where he had his casual drink, and that’s where I was going to grab him. It took patience and it took pain to get to this stage, but it was time to make him pay for what he did to my family.
Driving to the shabby pub, Earls Barn, where Ranger spent most of his time, I could think of nothing more than the pain that I wanted to inflict on him. I wasn’t going to make it quick like he probably did with Catherine and Kayla. I wanted to savour every moment of his agony. I waited outside for him to appear, and the longer he took, the more adrenaline ran through my body. I knew he was there, he was their every night, the alocoholic son of a bitch.
When Ranger finally emerged from the pub, it was clear that he was drunk, and that was better for me. I pulled up beside him, jumped out of the car and shoved him in the back seat with ease. Disorientated, Ranger tries to pull himself together and say something.
“What’s going on?” he slurred.
“Shut up or I’ll put a bullet in your head here and now,” I replied calmly.
I didn’t want to do it that way, but if I had to I would, as long as he was dead. He lay back on the seat as we arrived at the shed I had fixed up for the occasion.
“Get out the car!” I shouted as I opened the door.
“Who the fuck are you?” Ranger slurred once again.
“Get out the fucking car!”
Ranger slowly dragged himself on the ground, but I couldn’t wait. I pulled his dirty hood over his head and dragged him along the floor into the shed. There was a chair in the centre. I liked to call it the throne of a dead man. I tied Ranger’s limp body to the chair and sat on the floor in front of him.
“So, you still don’t know who I am?” I asked calmly.
Ranger struggled to lift his head.
“Why would I know a fuck-up like you? You’re clearly not right in the head. If you let me go now, then this will be the last of it. I’ll forget this ever happened,” he threatened.
I couldn’t help but laugh. I don’t think he really understood the extent of the situation he was in, as I thought I’d propmt him. I went in my bag of tools and laid them out on the floor. The drill caught Ranger’s eye, and he wass startled.
“What’s all this for? What the fuck is going on here?” he shouted.
I grabbed his face and looked him deep in the eyes. I could see the fear looking right back at me, and it was then I knew he recognised me.
“You stole everything from me, and in the worst way possible. Now it’s your turn to lose everything,”
“Listen, I’m sorry for whatever you have lost, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve got the wrong person,”
I ignored the desperation in his voice and plugged in my drill.
“Now, I’m going to ask the questions and you’re going to give me the answers, or I guarantee you Ranger, this will get nastier the longer you take,”
I aim the drill at his left patella and pushed firmly. The scream was soothing. Seeing his blood made me feel at ease, but brought flashbacks of the blood in the bathroom.
“What is it that you want from me?” shouted Ranger.
“Now you’ve got a taste of what to come, here’s my first question, and the main question. Why did you do it? Why did you kill my wife and my little girl?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You have to believe me,”
“That’s the wrong fucking answer Ranger,” I said sarcastically.
I directed my drill towards his right patella and pushed even harder. His leg shook uncontrollably and saliva began to drip from his mouth. I thought he would have given in by now, but he was a stubborn soul, and I needed to change tactics. I put the drill down and lit a cigarette.
“Where is the man in you?” I asked. “Even after I’ve drilled into your knees you still can’t admit what you did. You’re pathetic,”
I could see that Ranger was finding it difficult to focus, but I had all the time in the world and nothing left to lose.
“I’m telling…I’m telling you…I don’t know what you’re talking about?” he stammered.
“I saw you that night, and I know you saw me. That’s why you ran and disappeared, but you didn’t go very far. It was more than easy finding you,”
I stood up and walked behind him.
“Please, no more,” begged Ranger.
I held the lit cigarette against his temple and listened to the sound. The smell of burning skin made me feel uneasy, but the sound of his pain reminded me why I was doing this.
“Okay! Okay! I did it!” shouted Ranger as he broke down into tears.
“Finally, we’re getting somewhere,” I replied as I went back to sit in front of him.
“It isn’t what you think. Believe me it isn’t,”
His words sort of humoured me. I couldn’t help but have this sinister smile on my face.
“You just need to understand that it isn’t what it seems,” he repeated. “What I did had to be done,”
He immediately lost me. I didn’t want him to start going on about some biblical mumbo-jumbo about him being ordered to do such a deed.
“What’s that meant to mean?” I asked.
Rangers head fell and he went silent. I knew he wasn’t dead, but the pain had caused him to black out. I slapped him across the face.
I was getting frustrated at the lack of response I was receiving and thought more force was needed. I removed a piece of cable from my bag and wrapped it around his neck.
“Don’t kill me, I’ll talk,”
I’d had enough of him stalling. I pulled the ends of the cable as tight as I could and watched his eyes as they turned bloodshot and his face deep red. I slowly released so he could talk.
“We were lovers,” said Ranger.
He struggled to get his breath back and I heard what he had said, but chose not to take it in. How dare he say something as vile as that? I tightened my grip on the cable again.
“You are a sick man, a very sick man,” I said aggressively, before loosening my grip again.
“I’m not lying to you. This situation I’m in right now is real, why would I lie to you?” he gasped.
“She was my wife! My wife! She would never touch someone like you. Never!” I shouted as I paced around.
I couldn’t believe he was telling me this. He was disrespecting Catherine’s name. I looked him dead in the eyes, and a slow smirk formed across his sweaty face. He was winding me up. He had to be.
“Catherine oh Catherine, we really did have some good times. If you untied my hands I could show you a picture of us together on a day out. Whilee you were at work playing big shot banker, your wife was looking for some real attention, and she found it in me. How does that make you feel now?” said Ranger with pride.
I grabbed his face swiftly.
“Don’t even say her fucking name! I loved her and she knew that. Everything I worked for was for her and my little gir so don’t you ever say I didn’t show them attention!” I shouted.
The tables had turned. My insides were churning as I began processing what Ranger was saying. He couldn’t have known her name, and that I was a banker if he had no association with her. I rummaged through his jeans pockets and pulled out his wallet.
“You could be a little more gentle considering you’ve been drilling my legs half the night,” he said sarcastically.
I pulled out my gun and pointed it directly between his eyes.
“If you say one more word, your face will be gone,” I said harshly.
He knew that he had some control over the situation and that’s why he began talking freely, but I was in no mood for his smart mouth. I opened his wallet and saw the picture, the picture of Ranger and Catherine happily smiling together. My heart sank, and rage consumed me. I lunged at Ranger and punched him uncontrollably. When I had pulled myself together, I tried to make sense of it all.
“Okay, you may have a picture, but it doesn’t mean anything. Why would you kill her and my child? If you were lovers what sense does it make?”
It was too much to deal with, and I didn’t bother wait for an answer. I retrieved my Stanley knife and held it to his neck. I felt disgusted and it was time to end it all. I brought him here to torture him, yet I’m the one being tormented now.
“I did it because the bitch gave me HIV, and that probably means you have it too, so do what you want with me. You wanted your answers, and now you’ve got them. It’s not like the disease isn’t gonna kill me anyway,” he laughed to himself.
He spat out a mouthful of blood and forced his neck against the blade.
“Do it then! Fucking do it!” he shouted.
“I need to know something else. You say she gave you HIV and she didn’t get it from me, so she was cheating on the both of us?”
“Looks like it. And here’s you going through all this effort trying to preserve her name and all. I wanted to look after her because you didn’t, but all she wanted was someone to take for a ride. She ruined my life, so I took hers. Your daughter was just in the way,”
I took a deep breath and, in silence, I slowly slit Ranger’s neck with no remorse. He probably thought I was bluffing, but after the last remark he made about Kayla, his fate was sealed. It didn’t heal what I was feeling. The pain. It still remained. I stood there and watched the blood stream from the gash in his throat before I packed up my tools, and simply left him there. HIV. My wife had given her lover HIV. How could she do that to me? This was way more than I bargained for, way more than I wanted to know.